“To whom much is given, much is expected,” was the approach a local businesswoman took in telling me how inspired she was about the many local mothers featured in my Mother’s Day beauty makeover columns.
Three mothers were ultimately selected for the free makeovers at area salons. But dozens of other moms shared their stories of extreme challenges — financial, health, domestic violence.
“I would like to pay for makeovers for all of the rest of them,” she concluded. “But I can’t afford that.”
What she could do was to connect with one of the featured salons — Akron’s Bessay Intelligent Style — to make arrangements to pay for one of the other mothers.
The donor asked to remain anonymous.
On the receiving end of her generosity and the salon’s skills was Akron’s Bethany Sendelbach, whose father, Michael O’Connor of Mogadore, nominated her:
“Beth is disabled and suffers from MS (multiple sclerosis). In spite of her troubles she is a great mother to her five children, ages 3-14. She makes sure the kids are delivered to school — Akron Early College, Roswell Kent Middle, Voris Elementary and finally preschool — and retrieves them at the end of the day. Not to mention roller skating, dance, science fair, book fair or whatever else pops up.
“She is active in her children’s schools, having served in various positions in the PTA over the past eight years, past president at Voris and current president at Roswell Kent. Aside from PTA she has worked tirelessly for all her children’s schools and all of their functions. I think she would make a very deserving mom. Besides, she needs to sit down for a few minutes.”
The makeover, as shared by salon owners and brothers J. Cordell and Kenneth G. Slack:
“Her hair color was changed from a burgundy to a more flattering and intense red, more flattering to her skin tone. She also did a foil Balayage (a French technique of highlighting) in a sun-kissed blonde … She also got a stronger, more layered haircut to give her more movement.”
Bethany explained that one of her sons, who has Asperger’s, doesn’t like hair in her face.
The salon sent her home with a plethora of products to help her maintain the look.
“My hair is absolutely gorgeous!” Bethany said happily. “It’s honestly lighted up … I can’t believe someone could do that to my hair!”
The 37-year-old mom had plenty of opportunities Friday to show off her new look, shopping with the children for a Father’s Day gift for her husband, Tim, and her own father. And there was a slate of activities planned for the next day: her daughter’s fourth birthday party, and the Greater Akron Autism Walk.
I’m certain the woman who made this possible for Bethany would agree that it was money well spent.
From tragedy to hope
When bad things happen to good people, deeds of unspeakable value often sprout wings of hope from that loss.
That’s what happened after the tragic deaths of 8-year-old Brian A. Montgomery, the son of Mark and Sandra of Rootstown, of cancer in 2006; and 26-year-old Michael Todd Kerr of North Canton in July 2008, from a motorcycle accident.
• The fifth annual Kick-It for Kids in Memory of Brian Montgomery is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kent State University practice fields, behind the fieldhouse and Dix Stadium off Summit Street.
Brian’s mother, the event’s organizer, wrote:
“For the past four years we have held very successful Kick-It games with over $17,000 raised to date. Now we are ready for game #5!” You can get a team together to play in the kickball games or donate to the Kick-It website (www.kick-it.org/events/kick-it-for-kids).
“Please join me along with our family and friends as we join forces to raise as much money as possible. Brian’s wish was for a ‘Cancer Free World.’ Realizing that we are a long way from his wish, my wish is for ‘More Childhood Cancer Survivors and Fewer Angels!’ ”
Sandra Montgomery said this year’s event — on what would have been her son’s 16th birthday — will be an actual tournament style as opposed to the virtual style held last year. Games for all ages are planned. Donation is $10 per player. Questions? Email her at montgomeryohio05@ sbcglobal.net.
• Michael Kerr’s organs were donated so one man would have life, and another would have it more abundantly.
Tom Beadle of North Canton, a diabetic in kidney failure who had known Mike’s parents since high school, received a kidney; and a New York man, Bill Wagner, received his heart.
Both men are expected to attend the Big Mike Memorial Run on July 21 at Boettler Park, 5300 Massillon Road, in Green. Rain date is Aug. 18.
It’s a way to honor Mike’s legacy, and to underscore the importance of organ donation.
“Last year we had around 250 motorcycles that rode for our son and we are expecting 300-plus bikes coming this year,” Mike’s parents, Joe and Jan Kerr, wrote. “It has been a free run the last three years because we want to have more people every year ride in our son’s memory.”
Registration starts at 9 a.m. with the first bike out at 11 a.m. Lots of games and prizes. Preregistration at Joe@BigMike MemorialRun.com or 330-605-0955. For more information, please visit www.BigMike MemorialRun.com.
Ride for St. Jude
Big, beautiful bouquets to members of the Rolling Thunder Ohio Chapter 2 motorcycle club, who rolled into the Lux family’s Alex’s Lemonade Stand event on Garman Road in Akron a few days back, to support local efforts for a national childhood cancer research project.
“Chapter 2 is hosting an event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (in Memphis, Tenn.) in July and supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand seems to go hand in hand,” wrote Tina Mathis, whose 4-year-old nephew Bradlee (of Kentucky) is being treated at St. Jude.
Chapter 2 will host a poker run July 20 to benefit St. Jude. Registration is 9 to 11 a.m. at the VFW Post 3383, 690 W. Waterloo Road, Akron. Cash donations are $20 for drivers, $5 for passengers. First bike out at 11 a.m.; last bike in at 5 p.m. Lots of prizes, breakfast, pig roast, door prizes, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, entertainment and more planned. For more information, please visit www.cruisin467.vpweb.com/ Meet-Bradlee.html or call Mike at 330-696-9838, Scott at 330-573-5055 or Tina at 330-575-8492.
“There are no words to express how much we owe them (St. Jude),” Tina Mathis added.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com.